Kickoff For October 15, 2018

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

Next week’s Kickoff will be a day late. Well, I’ll be publishing it on a Monday, but Monday in North America. Why? I’ll be in Raleigh, NC attending a conference called All Things Open and hanging out with the team from I’m going to put quite a few kilometres and a couple or three time zones under me. Wish me luck.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


The World’s Oldest Blockchain Has Been Hiding in the New York Times Since 1995, wherein we discover that when it comes to the blockchain (as with many technologies), what’s new is old again.

Use the internet, not just companies, wherein Derek Sivers reminds us that there are certain digital skills you should develop for yourself, just so you’re not at the mercy of an internet giant.

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet, wherein we learn about a precursor to the web created and run by the French government, and about why private industry hamstrung an innovative service.


What Is Education For?, wherein Sparky Abraham and Nathan J. Robinson argue that while there needs to be some reform and change in education, a traditional liberal education isn’t a waste of time or as useless as some commentators have suggested.

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet, wherein we learn how, for better or for worse, language has risen to the top rung of the global language ladder and how having many languages is a gift.

How ancient cultures explained comets and meteors, wherein we discover a bit about how our ancestors viewed objects falling from or passing across the sky, and how not all of that was superstition.


Should writers only write what they know? What I learned from my research, wherein Teresa LeClerc examines whether authors should craft characters from backgrounds other than their own, and whether it’s useful for writers to walk in someone else’s shoes.

The Elements of Bureaucratic Style, wherein we learn that writing in the bureaucratic voice offers soothing pabulum to those whose minds are already made up, or who are predisposed to support bureaucracy, and why that’s a dangerous thing.

Why Structure Matters When You Are Writing a Novel, wherein Louise Candlish explains that the form in which you present your characters’ story will determine how readers respond to it.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt